Saturday, March 27, 2010

All foreigners rook arike; Dr. Donut

Two things have happened so far today that contrast the neat, precise germophobic upside of this country with its easygoing, freewheeling side that I wouldn't quite call a downside, but it probably doesn't make its way to the tourism office.

In the morning, I went to buy some donuts from a chain called Mr. Donut. Mr. Donut, unlike our True Patriot Lover Tim Hortons, has a six-foot tall sign informing customers that all their donuts are made at the store. The selection wasn't all I had hoped for, and the prices were higher than at the Dunkin' Donuts down the street, but I was alone in the spotless, gleaming shop, under the glare of the lights and the two employees behind the counter who hadn't hesitated in shouting "welcome!" at the top of their lungs when I walked in.

I chose a couple of plain donuts and a chocolate donut. In Korea, you self-serve your donuts onto a tray and take them to the cashier. With the precision of a surgeon and a general that could only be rivaled by the Soup Nazi, my donuts were removed from the tray, put into a paper bag, which was creased better than most pants I own, and taped at the top. When the general-cum-manager was putting a napkin in the bag, it fell onto the spotless counter. He promptly replaced it with a new one, and the offender was snatched up the by the subordinate cashier, never to be seen again.

After breakfast, I was out running when a van driving next to me slowed down and I saw a boy poke his head out the window. I took out my earphones to hear him yell "hello teacher!" In my confusion, I gave him a half-hearted wave, which probably didn't look too kind. In my defense, I'm pretty sure that I've never seen that boy before.

After thinking about it, I came up with three possibilities. First, that is one of my students. I think it's the least likely, but the van did slow down just so he could say hi to me. Second, he's not one of my students, but he goes to my school since he was too big to be in grade 1, but too small to be in grade 5. The third possibility is the funniest and the worst. That boy really wanted to say hi to a foreigner, or he mistook me for some other foreigner, since we all do look the same.


Jennifer said...

Those are good stories.

Isn't there a fourth possibility for the mistaken identity-- that you looked like an actual teacher he has or had?

Chris said...

who the hell eats plain donuts?

Jennifer said...

I guess my choice is a sub-choice of the third.

And I love plain donuts. :)

Adeel said...

People who don't like eating strangely flavoured donuts.

Justin Kraus said...

I'm a plain man as well.

Shan said...

You people disgust me.

If there's no jelly on the inside nor any sprinkles on top, you should probably make an appointment with Dr. Bagel instead.